( by Saad Imran )
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected the physical health of millions of people and left hundreds of thousands dead; it also had an adverse effect on the mental health of employees all over the world.
Job insecurity and other financial issues have been reported to be the main reasons behind the worsening mental health of employees. According to a research study, 44% of employees experience a lack of motivation at work since the beginning of the pandemic.
Productive and motivated employees are the best asset of any organization. There are two types of employee motivation: Intrinsic motivation and Extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation comes from within one's self. An intrinsically motivated employee derives satisfaction from the tasks he performs. Usually, these tasks are those which the employee personally believes in—for example, personal and professional growth, personal goals etc.
When an employee is extrinsically motivated, he completes his work tasks in the hope of a reward or an outcome. Some examples of rewards include praise from managers, promotion in the company, pay raises, and material rewards such as vacation trips etc.
Extrinsically Motivated Employees are More Engaged and Productive
While it's true that money is never a substitute for passion, extrinsic motivation is not all about money. It can also be about the anticipation of reaching a professional goal, getting applaud for your work, and benefits offered by the company.
Employee benefits are a good source of extrinsic motivation. Offering your employee's benefits results in increased productivity among employees, improves employee retention, and has a positive effect on your company's image. Besides all that, it makes good financial sense to offer benefits to your employees.
Here are three most sought out employee benefits during the pandemic:
Even before the pandemic started, remote work was popular among employees, and its popularity had kept increasing. According to special analysis, the trend of remote work grew 159% from 2017 to 2019.
When coronavirus cases started rising, allowing employees to work from home became necessary to ensure productivity and safety. At present, remote work has become the new normal. According to a survey, 72% of employees wanted to continue working from home for at least two days a week.
Remote work has a positive effect on the productivity of employees. According to a report, 30% of companies said that there was a significant increase in the productivity of employees after the implementation of work from home policies.
A study found that 76% of US workers are experiencing burnout currently. Offering paid time off during the ongoing pandemic can have a positive effect on the health and overall well-being of your employees.
This past year has been unprecedented for everyone. The best way to help your employees who are experiencing burnout is to let them know that their work is appreciated and allow them to take some time off to clear their minds. According to a survey, 30% of the employees say that receiving paid time off will help with burnout.
While it's true that long-term leaves are harmful to both employer and employee, a research study showed that a leave of fewer than six months does not have a negative effect on the career of the employee.
In case of an employee getting affected due to COVID, federal laws such as FFCRA mandates employers to provide paid leave to employees.
Employee Wellness Plans
This pandemic has made one thing clear, mental well-being of employees is as important as their physical well-being. Your employee wellness plans during COVID should not be limited to on-site fitness centres, snacks and smoking cessation programs.
They should also include encouraging open communication culture, increased appreciation for the work of employees, and showing empathy for them.
Some examples of employee wellness plans during this time include wellness challenges that allow socialization between team members, webinars, and online cooking classes. Others are telehealth sessions with health coaches and mental health professionals and virtual initiatives such as health portals and fitness classes.
To read more about what an employee wellness program could look like in the future, read this article.